On Being in a Car Accident Today {Don't panic mom, we're okay.}

We had a rather lazy day, heading out to one of my favorite poor-weather locations. 

The Garfield Park Conservatory. 

We've been going for a decade now, after discovering it when Maddie was a baby. 
It's this little slice of green and warm and dry and 
when you need a green-warm-dry fix, it'll do. 

We packed a picnic and wandered through the Conservatory getting 
a glimpse of God's Creation.
{And did I mention it's free WITH free parking, too!} 

I was on the look-out for wonky texture combos. 

  

I think I found it in this one.  
I may or may not have let the kids try to catch tadpoles in the little stream. 
{Don't judge. A mom has to do what a mom has to do.}

We are, however, on a strict catch-and-release policy. 
I have some standards.  

And little buddy is doing this new thing with his mouth. 
Not sure why, but I sort of like it.  

And then we headed for home, read for a bit and then Maddie and I headed out the door to her 4pm parent-teacher conference. 

 The rains were tumblin' down. 

We were stopped at a light. 

And then out of nowhere,
CRASH BAM BOOM. 

I mean, we were hit hard from behind. 

Maddie and I both whipped forward and then our heads, all on their own, 
flung back and hit the head rests. 

Maddie yelled, "WHAT WAS THAT?" 

And I just said, "Someone hit us." 

It's one of those things where it just happens SO QUICKLY and you're stunned for a minute. Like, was that a sound on the radio? 
 Did a large boulder fall from the sky? 
 No. Someone hit us. 
Bizarre. 

 I went into OVER MODE
 {which is not all that surprising since my husband has 
affectionately nicknamed me his "over girl" }

 I quickly asked Maddie if she was okay and checked her out to make sure she was, and then I jumped out of the car and briskly walked back to the car behind us. 

Remember, pouring rain? 

Ya. Talk about soaked. 

The lady was very nice and very apologetic and instantly said, 
"I didn't see you. This is my first accident ever." 

My initial thought was 
"What part of our massive vehicle in front of you did you not see? 
I mean, we weren't on a bicycle built for two. 
It's a massive hunk of steel." 
But I bit my tongue.

 Instead, I said, 
"All that matters is that we're all okay. 
We can fix the cars. But we're all okay so that's good." 

 After making sure she wasn't going to flee the scene 
 {I live in Chicago people, AND I've watched one too many movies} 
I ran back to the car to get pen and paper and to check on Maddie. 

Poor sweet Maddie. 

There she sat just crying, looking out the window. 
She was scared. 
 And I had been oblivious. 

And this is where I feel SO bad about how I handled this little crisis. 

As soon as we were hit, I checked to see that we weren't bleeding or dead, I jumped out of the car to deal with the other driver and didn't even THINK about Maddie being scared. She wasn't crying when I got out of the car so it just didn't cross my mind. I think my nurturer genes got up and left because I should have stayed there and comforted her and made sure she knew she was okay and we were all okay. 

So I feel really bad about that. 
{So much so that after leaving the police station I just started to cry because I just hadn't done a good job fulfilling the Mommy role I've been given.} 

Anyhow .... 

Having never been in an accident before I said to the other driver, "So what do we do now?" {I've only been in one accident which was a major roll over accident where myself and 12 others rolled a large van. That's a story for another day. But I was whisked away in an ambulance so I have no idea what you do at the scene of an accident as far as paperwork goes.}  

We decided to write each others' information down and with it raining and all, I just hopped in her car and it was like we were buds heading out to the mall for the latest trendy outfit purchase. 

She was quite a pleasant gal. Ends up she's from Nigeria and is a nurse and has a 3-year-old daughter. Super nice.

 The things you find out when you're in a wreck. 

 Her husband suggested we call the police so seeing as I had forgotten my phone at home {not the best time to forget my phone} she called and found out where the nearest station was and off we went. 

Before we left, though, Jack came to the crime scene 
{how's THAT for dramatic. Had to throw that in there just once} 
to take photos and to pick up Maddie and bring her home while I dealt with the police. 

He left me with his fancy pants phone just in case I needed to call. Good idea. 
If only I knew how to work the darn thing.

We arrived at the police station, in the pouring rain. 
We parked, oh, 7.5 miles away from the door we had to enter, 
so we were ridiculously soaked, 
looking liked drowned rats when we walked through the revolving door.
At least I looked like a drowned rat.
She, on the other hand, had the most beautiful hair that didn't budget with the rain. 

So next is when the embarrassment kicks in. 

 We walk in and explain our situation. 

Mr. Policeman asks for my insurance card. 
Yep. You guessed it. 
The card I gave him had expired.
Yes, we have coverage. 
Just didn't have that little slip of paper with the current date on it in the car. 
Minor details people.

So I call Jack and he has to scrounge the info from home, and fax it. The fax isn't working. 

Another policeman steps in and says, "So who is the one that doesn't have insurance? I mean technically?" 
I slip my hand up slightly and sheepishly say, "That would be me."

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with Jack's Iphone and all of a sudden music starts playing from the thing.  
And it was loud. 

And I have NO IDEA how to turn it off. 

 As I'm reading the sign right in front of me that says -- in bold letters -- TURN ALL CELL PHONES OFF, the policeman, whose tolerance for our situation is waning, looks up and gives me this look like, "Can you NOT read the sign right in front of your face about turning cell phones off?"

I told him "I promise I'm not an idiot, I just don't know how to work these new phones."

So, I handed the Iphone to my new friend and said to her, "Any chance you can figure out how to shut the music off? And while you're at it, do you know where I will receive the text of the picture of our policy that Jack is texting me in the next minute or so because the fax isn't working?" 

And so, she figured it out. She's in her 20s. Those young ones are good like that. 

We waited. 

 The text came and when it did the picture looked about the size of a freckle on a small child.

So I handed Jack's phone to Mr. policeman and said, "I don't know how to make it bigger. Do you?" 

Perturbed, he took the phone, zip-zapped with his fingers, got what he needed and handed me back the phone. 

And handed us paperwork and said to call our insurance companies and that was that.

Needless to say, I wanted to slink out the back door never EVER 
to return to a police station again. 

Oh, and wouldn't you know, when I got back to the car after the whole fiasco at the police station, my mascara was ALL OVER THE PLACE, as was my WASH OUT HAIR DYE TO COVER THE GREY. 
Nice. 
Very nice, Alysa.

So that's my adventure for today. 

I was reminded, yet again, at how frail life really is and I'm so thankful that today's story ended as it did. 

Inconvenienced with a broken car. Yep? 

 I have my daughter safe and sound and neither of us are in a hospital right now. 
That really is all that matters.

 I will choose gratefulness. 

And on a side-note, 
I absolutely LOVE God's wonky textures! 

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